Archive for February, 2012

Pink Like Trees

Dream catchers. Lumberjacks. Goldfish.

These wildly random topics have been the themes of several parties I’ve attended recently.

The dream catcher party was a birthday celebration, and attendees were asked to wear sandals and T-shirts with screen prints of wolves howling at cloud-shrouded moons.

The lumberjack party is an annual event. I purchased a plaid shirt specifically for the evening, which seemed like quite a commitment for a two-hour get-together. But I was put to shame by the boys who had spent weeks growing beards and learning to chop wood.

And then there was the goldfish racing party. It was as awkward and inhumane as it sounds. People arrived with plastic bags full of unsuspecting fish that were propelled down rain gutter-like shoots by miniature water guns. The hardwood floor suffered significant warping, and many fish went home belly-up. I wish I had been able to put them all in Nordstrom jewelry boxes and give them a proper burial.

I suppose this is what you get when you ask single 20-somethings to come up with activities that induce as much laughter and lead to as many “remember-that-one-time” stories as those that our less sober counterparts turn to.

The randomness almost seems like too much to handle, but (with the exception of the goldfish shindig) these crazy events really do make for good stories and enjoyable evenings. I’ve decided I can either sit at home eating cereal and watching “Friends” reruns, or I can get out there and make actual friends while chomping on trail mix or learning to weld an ax.

I relied on this adventurous attitude last Saturday night as I embarked on a last-minute blind date. The guy was sweet, but when Kelsey’s car got a flat tire on the freeway at 10 p.m., I knew this was one of those “remember-that-one-time” moments and not a magical “story-of-how-we-met” events.

Frozen fingers, lost car keys, french fries for dinner and an hour-and-a-half of murder in the dark with 20 strangers added to the excitement.

I must admit that there were moments when I wanted to throw my hands up and call Lizzy to come get me. But I decided to laugh about it, and it actually turned out to be kind of fun.

This is me and Rachel on the side of the road, capturing the memories.

We belted out Bruno Mars songs while silently praying the spare tire would hold out, consumed obscene amounts of chocolate (to balance out the french fries, of course) and brainstormed names for my date’s band. A quick game of “Tell me the first word that comes to your mind” brought us to “Pink Like Trees.” We decided it’s a keeper.

Can you guess which word was mine?

How to be happy

I’ve been in a inspiration-seeking mood recently. Colors, sounds, smells, photos. I’m listening intently to them and hoping some soul-soothing revelation or sassy spark of creativity will ignite my ambition.

Today, this quote from “The Tao of Pooh” by Benjamin Hoff found its way to me: “Do you really want to be happy? You can begin by being appreciative of who you are and what you’ve got.”

Simple. Profound. Perfect.

What do you propose?

This weekend my friend Lizzy and I took a little road trip up to Idaho. Typically, I make that long drive alone, crossing baren beige planes with only the Biebs or Michael Jackson to keep me company.

This time, though, I didn’t have to reach for my iPod once. Conversations about everything from windshield wiper fluid to the purpose of life flowed freely. We filled a total of eight hours with charming, frivolous, substantial and invaluable chatter.

Somewhere between sighing over Jimmy Choo shoes and recalling the tragic death of a family friend, Lizzy and I stumbled into a discussion about our dream weddings. We threw out tablecloth colors, photographers, cake designs, heights for centerpieces and sizes for foral arrangements. We decided on exotic honeymoon locations and chose first dance songs. It was sappy, silly and filled with exclamations of “Love it!”

While these dreams are likely to become grander with time, or with the arrival of next Monday (we are girls, after all), we agreed that there is one aspect of tying the knot that doesn’t need to be over the top: the proposal.

While it wouldn’t hurt if that occasion included swans and fireworks and an appearance by Michael Bublé, all we really want is to hear that the men of our dreams want to spend the rest of this life and the next with us. They don’t need to write a poem or come up with one reason they love us for each letter of our names.

Forget the flashing scoreboard. Please don’t invite your family, my family and the cable guy. Take a queue from “Runaway Bride,” and keep it simple.

Getting to know you

Someone I’d just met recently asked me to tell him what he should know about me. At that moment, I completely blanked. I think I rattled off something silly about being a member of the Nordstrom bow club as a child. It wasn’t especially charming or crucial information.

The next week, as I was blowdrying my hair (a feat that takes no less than 30 minutes), a flood of interesting facts about Emily made their ridiculously late arrival. Some of these tidbits are frivolous, a la the bow club, but others are relatively significant.

Maybe I’ll have an opportunity to share these with the intended recipient some day. Maybe I won’t. Either way, I thought I’d post them here.

I hate mushrooms. I think they taste like shoes. Moving to Japan was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I love my family fiercely. My little brothers are two of the greatest blessings in my life.

I need to feel the sun on my face every day. I love Gerber daisies. I’ve never had a broken bone. I love reading. Jane Austen’s “Emma” is my all-time favorite novel. The Wall Street Journal is my favorite publication. I think traveling is essential; it’s important to be reminded that there’s more to the world than the United States.

I like to shop. OK, “like” may be an understatement. But I never spend money I don’t have. I love magazines. My dream is to be the editor of my own one day. I’m afraid of drowning.

I think moms deserve far more credit than they get. My mom is my best friend. I’m always cold. Always. When it comes to grammar, I’m a complete nerd. I love explaining how to use semicolons and how to avoid dangling modifiers.

I love to dance. I probably burn more calories smiling during Zumba than I do dancing. When I’m sad, all I really need is a hug.

Christmas tree lights and fireworks make me happy. My two favorite places are the Conference Center and our family condo in Sun Valley.

I don’t like scary movies. They give me nightmares. I love sushi.

I don’t believe in coincidences, but I do believe in miracles.